Wills, Estates and Powers of Attorney

These are some of the most common areas of law where people require professional advice, given that it affects everyone.

Wills:

As there is no legal obligation to make a Will, many people do not address this critical issue when they should. Failure to make a valid Will can have a dramatic effect upon your family and relatives.

Let us be clear. If you die without a validly executed Will, you die ‘intestate’.

This will very probably result in your assets being distributed according to a rigid legal formula as set out by the Government which may mean that your family and loved ones may not receive the protection or benefits that you would have wished for them.

These issues become increasingly important where children are involved. If any of your children are under the age of 18 years, you may wish to nominate guardians to look after your children and to also set out what arrangements you want to make for their maintenance, education and their future generally.

Not only is the process quite easy, it also does not cost much at all to prepare a valid Will. Most importantly, once your Will has been signed, you have the comfort of knowing that your wishes have been set in place.

Our services range from preparing a simple Will, tailored to your individual needs, from $220 (incl. GST) through to advice and preparation of a Will incorporating a Testamentary Trust from $550 (incl. GST).

We believe that these competitive prices ensure that all members of our community can afford to exercise their right to direct their final wishes and make sure that such wishes are as valid and binding as the Law allows – as many cases show, that is not always the situation where people rely upon Wills prepared from ‘Will Kits’.

Once a Will has been made, we recommend that it be reviewed on a regular basis, especially when significant financial or family changes occur.

As some life events (such as marriage or divorce) may automatically invalidate certain aspects of your Will, or possibly the entire Will itself, it is imperative that you keep your Will updated. It only takes a few minutes to bring a Will up to date and ensure that your final wishes are recorded for the future.

Your original Will can be held in our safe (without charge) indefinitely.

Powers of Attorney:

MDL Law can also assist you in relation to Powers of Attorney.

Powers of Attorney enable you to appoint someone of your choice to manage your affairs and generally look after you if you become incapacitated through accident, illness or any other reason.

There are several different types of Powers of Attorney available and it is crucial that you obtain the benefit of professional advice so as to enable you to make a fully informed decision as to which type or combination of Powers of Attorney are right for you.

Summary:

We firmly believe that having MDL Law professionally prepare your Will and Powers of Attorney will provide you with the ‘peace of mind’ that comes from knowing that your affairs are in order.

We will show you quickly what needs to be done for you and you will have the knowledge that not only are your family and loved ones are protected, but also that your wishes will be carried out.

Probate Applications and Administration of Deceased Estates.

Often, issues arise in relation to Probate Applications and the Administration of Deceased Estates.

Where a well-intentioned relative or friend has been appointed as Executor and Trustee, this may mean that they are forced to wrestle with difficult issues at a time when they are still grieving and are therefore understandably reluctant to deal with the intricacies of these complex areas of law.

Probate is the process of proving and registering, in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the last Will of a Deceased person. When a person dies, somebody has to deal with their Estate. It is usually the Executor appointed in their Will who administers the Estate and handles the disposal of their assets and debts.

MDL Law can help Executors and Trustees perform their administration duties professionally and legally. We understand it can be a very difficult time when you are faced with the responsibility of trying to administer a Deceased Estate and we can help you through the process. Many people find the process associated with obtaining a Grant of Probate and subsequently administering an Estate to be a very daunting prospect given that the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court can be quite rigid. MDL law can assist you by ensuring that all documentation is properly and professionally prepared so as to make the whole process as streamlined and stress free as possible.

If you are the Executor and Trustee of a Will, you must understand your duties and be informed in detail about your rights and responsibilities as an Executor and Trustee.

Defending or Challenging a Will:

MDL Law has considerable experience in providing advice not only to Executors and Trustees regarding the defence of a Will, but also those who wish to challenge a Will.

If you have been appointed as an Executor, defending a Will can be an involved process where you will benefit from our experience to ensure you get the correct advice and avoid unnecessary stress, delay and expense.

Similarly, if you are intending to challenge a Will, it is absolutely critical that before you do so, you obtain professional advice from us. We are fully experienced in this area of law and can assist you in exploring the issues involved and advising you as to the viability of achieving the outcome you are seeking.

Claims Against Deceased Estates (Part IV Claims):

Where a person believes that they have been unfairly left out of a Will, they may be able to make a claim for provision (or further provision) from the Estate of the Deceased – (this is commonly called a ‘Part IV Claim’).

However, if you are proposing to make a Part IV Claim, it is imperative that you obtain professional advice as early as possible, given that the rules relating to who is eligible to make a Part IV Claim, as well as the rules relating to who bears the costs associated with such a Claim, have changed significantly in recent times.

Please note that statutory time limits apply to Part IV Claims